Hundreds of public officers employed in the Ministry of Health (MoH) may lose their jobs following a restructuring programme which will result in the ministry hiving off some of its operations. The Ministry of Health this week confirmed launching a major restructuring which insiders say could lead to hundreds of job losses. As part of the massive restructuring exercise, the Ministry also confirmed that it will possibly delegate or outsource various functions that it currently performs as promoted by the Government of Botswana policy; the result is that there will be job losses.
Since the beginning of October authorities from the Ministry have been holding consultative meetings across the country with employees who may be affected by the exercise. Responding to Sunday Standard queries, Ministry of Health Chief Public Relations Officer Doreen Motshegwa revealed that the restructuring was necessitated by the review of the National Health Policy and relocation of Primary Health Care to Ministry of Health. Motshegwa said according to the new policy, there is need to separate the policy, regulation and planning for health care with implementation. “With the revised Health Policy the Ministry of Health will remain the purchaser of health care and District Health Management Teams will implement. MOH had to then restructure accordingly,” she said.
Motshegwa said some of the objectives of the restructuring include among others, to ensure the realization of the revised National Health Policy through the implementation of the Integrated Health Services Plan. The restructuring will also help the Ministry to de-concentrate functions to the DHMTs, to ensure that DHMTs get the required support from all the central departments, to decentralize some critical functions to DHMTs such as procurement, ambulatory care, medical records, human resources management, that are still within MoH HQ. She said this will enable MoH HQ to concentrate in policy development, regulatory framework, strategic planning and DHMTs implement.
“The organizational review also considers possible delegation or outsourcing of various functions currently performed by the MOH, as promoted by the Government of Botswana policy,” said Motshegwa. Despite serious claims by insiders that some employees will lose their Jobs Motshegwa insisted that in the event that functions are transferred to DHMTs, employees performing those functions will be expected to transfer. On allegations by stakeholders such as unions that the Ministry was undertaking restructuring without their input, Motshegwa insisted that during the development of the revised National Health Policy, a wide consultation was done. “The process of consultation on Organisation and Management Review is still ongoing and as always all relevant stakeholders will be engaged,” she said.